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and the brass at the pentagon. >> is the real point here he's somebody because of that who has the credibility so that if he's the one who has to remake defense going forward, if he's to talk about cuts to systems he has that extra credibility? >> i think he does and that matters. we had great secretaries of defense that didn't serve. it's an important part as we enter this period. i think that with the real thing here, we take a step back, just look how far the republican party has moved in the last six years. you talked about a republican saying you're out of the mainstream means one thing, you're in the mainstream. because they've left. in 2006, john mccain was talking about chuck hagel as his secretary of state and now he's someone who he thinks is disqualified. from a big picture, the republicans have moved the neocons have such a hold on that party and i don't think that's mainstream thinking in america. >> do you think there is an element of political payback here? >> sure, listen, some of this is situation normal in washington, whether you're a democrat or republican, always trying to
, and former pentagon official and current foreign policy magazine columnist, rosa brooks. it is good to have you here with us. michelle, who i believe you worked with at the pentagon, tell me why i have it wrong or at least why you worry that hagel wouldn't be the right pick for this position. >> i don't know i would say ezra that hagel is the wrong pick, i just don't think he is the best pick. i think there are others around there who would have many of the upsides that hagel has, without the down sides that hagel has. if mitt romney had won and chosen him, i would have applauded him as real courage. chuck hagel has a lot going for him. he is a brave guy, a principled guy. there is a lot to like about him. he is also a republican, and the democratic party has worked really, really hard over past decades to erase the deficit, in which voters consistently said they trusted republicans more than democrats on national security. democrats have worked really hard to erase that gap, but picking chuck hagel seems to me to be sending a message i can't figure out president obama wants to send, i can'
to lead the pentagon and cia. >> these two leaders have dedicated their lives to protecting our country. i urge the senate to confirm them as soon as possible. >> both nominees face difficult questions before they are confirmed in the u.s. senate. chuck hagel seems perfect for the pentagon. a former republican senator from nebraska. some conservatives say he is not strong enough supporter of israel, even though he voted many times to send billions of dollars there. >> i will do my best for our country, for those i represent at the pentagon, and for all of our citizens. >> john brennan is a long time administration officials who spent 25 years in the cia. >> i will make my mission to ensure the cia has the tools it needs to keep our nation safe and that its work always reflects the liberties, the freedoms, and the values we hold dear. >> but he is controversial, too. he has been the public face of the legality of drone strike spread >> he understands we are a nation of laws. in moments of debates and decisions, he asks the tough questions and he insists on a rigorous standards. >> four year
, hagel at the pentagon, jack lew now at treasury? these are the big jobs, and it's sort of striking. you don't have women at the white house staff at the most senior levels. there are deputy chiefs of staff who are not even being mentioned as skrd to replace jack lew. >> it's the -- it's the optics. it doesn't help young women coming up to see these pictures. i think that the white house is always mentioning her az apossibility, and i think that was more just to let people know that they were considering a woman. i think that hagel was the choice the president all along, and that often happens. now, people -- the president and the people are saying, well, there's always women in the second tier jobs, but you don't see those women on tv. you see the secretaries and so, again, it's a problem with optics. >> susan page, you are such ab period of time as the bureau chief of usa today. mountain out of a mole hill, or as jean says, women have different experiences. we're 50% of the population, and being at the table makes a big difference. >> well, to be clear president obama has a pretty good
he wore the uniform. always a challenge to the civilian leadership of the prosecute pentagon. at times of war. there's also a big policy debate in the next two years at the drawdown from afghanistan continues. then the other part of this is what is the big debate that's happening in this town over the next year, and it's going to be the budgets. the pentagon is a big part of this. what better than to have a republican senator be the guy on capitol hill lobbying and dealing with the pentagon, which is inevitable, but it's not an easy thing to do, so why not have a republican make that argument? it's the big picture thinking as far as the president is concerned. i want to talk to miling lighter for a moment. he had been at the cia and some said he wanted to be the first cia director. he was opposed by a lot of -- on the left when those that were against policies that he had after 9/11 and under the bush white house, including enhanced interrogation techniques, including waterboarding. >> why is he the right fit for cia? >> i think is he the right fit that he knows the building
on the top pentagon spot but cue democratic sources told us that chuck hagle, the two-term senator from nebraska is likely to be nominated earlier next week. he opposed the surge in iraq and toured the mideast with candidate obama in 2008. he's assured rough sledding in confirmation hearings. marco rubio said he may block the nomination unless hagle withdraws his opposition to the embargo against cuba. and his baching at the designation of hezbollah has a terrorist group. then there are the remarks he made to mideast diplomats. the jewish lobby in tim dates a lot of people up here on capitol hill, he told miller in a 2006 interview, adding i'm not an isreali senator, i'm a united states senator. >> and finally some other groups are unimpressed with the policy he offered last month for comments he made in 1998 about the first openly gay ambassador, hormel, who he called aggressively gay. he said his purple hearts qualifies him for the job of defense secretary and the white house has lined up high profile backers to defend his record on israel. >> he has been over the course of the long c
. >> ashleigh, if you down size the pentagon politically, and that's what the president is going to do, it's not a bad idea the republicans think to have the republican at the helm because they're called soft on defense, et cetera, et cetera. when you're down sizing, have a republican lead the way. >> it makes for easier politics in some respects. let's switch to mr. brennan. this is another interesting choice and a lot of people have a lot of good things to say about john brenna. however, gler yeah, the n nomination process is problematic. the cv sounds terrific. when's the problem? >> i actually think that brennan will have a much easier time than chuck hagel. i think there are questions about how he felt about enhanced interrogation techniques as we call them, otherwise known as torture, during the bush administration. >> he didn't particularly dislike them, right? >> well no. he has come out and said he opposed them but there's also a question of using drones too much. there are a lot of democrats who believe that we've -- we're using drones too much so these questions are going to be
to barbara for a moment, barbara starr, our pentagon correspondent. what kind of feedback are you getting from folks over at the pentagon, barbara? >> reporter: well, at the pentagon, wolf, they know one of the major issues that chuck hagel is walking into when he comes there will be the budget, how to cut defense spending. and, you know, this is not -- this is a pentagon political issue inside the corridors of the pentagon. it requires managed expertise. does the secretary of defense really understand where the various political levers are in the pentagon that he needs to work on? where the influence is? how a budget is formed? who has the power? inside the military, in this very complex process and can he impact it? when you hire a secretary of defense, to some large extent you are hiring someone for that management expertise. the pentagon is one of the largest organizations in the world, and you need somebody who knows how to run it. that's what a secretary of defense does. the other big issue that he's walking into that people will be watching very closely, how he will advise on commi
for the top job at the pentagon. the announcement expected to be made in the last couple of days. reports the president has set isled on chuck hagel. why to you think he picked him given the republican opposition and some from the left flank as well? >> the only thing i can think of is that he believes hagel is as a kind of a maverick would not drink the kool-aid as the white house may see it on pentagon military spending and so on. this he would be a counter force over there and not an advocate for the armed forces in the way that even leon panetta has become. the warnings that we are hearing for example about the effect of the sequester so called on the pentagon the dire warnings have come from panetta not from the white house. the president isn't going around warning about that. leon panetta is. i think that is the reason. are other evacuees, i otherwisr course. really not a particularly distinguished record in the senate or anywhere else. i'm not suggesting he didn't fight valiantly when was himself a soldier, i'm not suggesting that. an odd guy. there is this tinge of suspicion about
with outgoing defense secretary leon panetta showed something about his intention to remake the pentagon. almost over the opposition of republican critics. >> the time has come for me to return to my wife silvia, our three sons, their families, our six grandchildren and my walnut farm. dealing with a different set of nuts. >> the confirmation fights ahead will be driven not just by criticism of hagel and brennan's record, but foreign policy approach. that's what's going on here. in the first term, the president showed he was going to give the washington establishment more deference with his foreign policy pick. he picked hillary clinton as secretary of state and jim jones was his additional national security adviser. none of that deference this time in a selection of hagel, of a kerry, of brennan. president's message is, i got this. it is clear this is a president who wants to leave an imprint on foreign policy. not just about the white house running it, but leaving an imprint everywhere else. he wants his guys to do it. he may not say it the same way bush said it after his re-election to a seco
is james clapper, a former three-star military man from the pentagon. under him are 16 intelligence agencies and the cia is one of those before that, the director of central intelligence had nominally have the coordination role. now, the cia is one of 16 but it is our primary spy agency. its role under the reorganization has become even more crucial. if you have seen "zero dark thirty," it shows the central the cia played in identifying the career and once we identified him, we found the house in about a block and then we found osama bin laden. host: senator john mccain said he wants to take a closer look at the interrogation policies of the bush administration and john brennan's involvement in that. guest: i applaud with john mccain said about interrogation. he has been saying for ever that torture does not work and he should know. he was in the hanoi hilton for so long and tortured by north vietnam during the war. he is right, in my view. i did serve on the intelligence committee for eight years. i was there in the 1990's and came back and was a ranking member. i think we should l
on the way to the pentagon was his lgbt rights. he rejected james hormel to be ambassador to luxembourg with frankly offensive comments. hagel told a local newspaper i'm quoting ambassadorial posts are sensitive. they're representing america. they're representing our lifestyles values and standards, and i think it's an inhibiting factor to be openly, aggressively gay like mr. hormel to do a better job. this was the late 90s and toxic homophobia was very common common, hagel has apologized for those remarks and said as secretary of defense he will support open service and lgbt military families. now the log cabin republicans the lgbt gay advocacy group did not seem too impressed. they put out an ad chuck hagel hagel's apology, too little, too late. james hormel, the man hagel rejected and slandered had a very different take. quote, senator hagel stated in his remarks that he was willing to support open military service and lgbt military families. if that is a commitment to treat lgbt services members and families like everybody else, i would support his nomination. starting with hagel i
is regarding the pentagon. little, if any. i think it's an incredibly controversial choice. and it looks like the second term of barack obama is going to be an in-your-face term. >> want to bring in our white house correspondent brianna keilar. we no that the white house has been calling out, trying to reach senators and get some support for hagel here. we're also hearing from jim acosta, trying to push back on this idea that he's anti-israel, that comments on the jewish lobby were poorly worded and he has apologized. are they confident they'll be able to push that nomination through and get a confirmation? >> reporter: talking to sources here, they feel pretty good about it. as you know, there are even democratic senators that have concerns. talking with sources at the white house, there is a sense that a number of things that chuck hagel will have to answer for in a confirmation process but there is a feeling here that he has good answers to the questions he will be asked and he may be able to win over some people. as you know, for instance, the comments where he said jewish lobby, when he
at the pentagon. officials say they are still working out details to finish this book how many u.s. forces should stay in afghanistan after 2014 when most combat troops are set to leave the country. jennifer griffin is at the pentagon for us tonight. what's the word on whether there they are seriously considering leaving troops in afghanistan after that time. >> well, leaving no troops there they call it the zero option, shepard. in fact, it was floated by the white house earlier this week ahead of president harmid karzai's visit here to washington. the afghan leader was at the pentagon and state department today. it was really an idea floated to get karzai's attention because many fear if there are no u.s. troops the country will revert to the taliban you have provided options not to the president yet but to the national security staff. as you know i don't speak about options until i have had a chance to speak to the president. >> at the state department president karzai is dining tonight with secretary clinton and leon panetta. he brought a long list of military equipment that karzai needs from
is regarding pentagon little if any. so i think its controversial choice. >> jamie: would hagel survive a senate hearing? let's bring in ron bongene and margie o'meara. great to see both of you. it seems like both sides of the aisle agree that senator hagel can get a fair hearing but why is he best choice from democrats point of view? >> i think it's a strong choice from a really united american point of view. he earned two purple hearts. he is a republican senator who has not been part of the partisan bickering that people have grown to hate here. he has been endorsed by five former ambassadors to israel. he voted for $40 billion in aid to israel. he has been endorsed by four former security advisors and all those folks that have been appointed by republican and democratic administrations. i think he is strong pick and it would make sense for people to come together and confirm. >> jamie: do you think he was the president's first choice? >> i think certainly he has been a key pick. he has been somebody the president has been working with closely and think he has had a real relationship
, picking a fight over the president's pentagon pick. one thing the left and the right can agree on. chuck hagel may have an uphill battle in the senate. next, we'll get the view from both sides. former romney campaign adviser dan seymour and dan clemens will be here for a debate. >>> first, a look ahead at the president's schedule. at 1:05 today is the official announcement of hagel and brennan. you're watching "daily rundown" on msnbc. i was overweight my whole life. i obsessed about my weight my whole life. and then, weight watchers. i amazed myself. get used to it. introducing the new weight watchers 360 program. join for free and expect amazing. because it works. join for free and expect amazing. so if ydead battery,t tire, need a tow or lock your keys in the car, geico's emergency roadside assistance is there 24/7. oh dear, i got a flat tire. hmmm. uh... yeah, can you find a take where it's a bit more dramatic on that last line, yeah? yeah i got it right here. someone help me!!! i have a flat tire!!! well it's good... good for me. what do you think? geico. fifteen minutes could save
served in the pentagon and people who served in the clinton pentagon that are well thought of on a bipartisan basis . i don't know why the president wants him maybe he likes the fact that chuck hagel complained about the power of the jewish lobby and one of the few senators who voted against the iran sanction and refused to desigate the iranian guard as terrorist group. maybe he likes that record. >> one of the things that hagel gets dinged on is one on one negotiations on the nuclear program. he said i am not a pace 50 and i believe in using force but only after a decision making process. i will do everything i can to avoid needless and senseless war. nina, is that unreasonable for a secretary of defense to have? >> it is in line with where the president is going in terms of use not putting troops on the ground anymore. he made that clear. he wants to rely on unmanned drones in afghanistan and fight terrorism that way. i think brit is right he's in line with the president on the issues and if you go forward and look at spending cut that is are going to have to come down in
a bloated pentagon was two years ago. since then both parties have agreed that the budget needs to be scaled back. and $487 billion has been cut over the following ten years. now the debate is how much more we should cut. my own view is we can cut a little bit more but not as much as sequestration would require. so again the confirmation hearings are going to be excellent opportunities to get into these matters. i don't know what senator hagel things about how much more deeply we can cut, he should be asked. but the pentagon was bigger than it needed to be in 2011 and that's commonly accepted idea at this point. >> jennifer: that's interesting. so that might be a bit of a red herring or at least an unimportant factor but the obama administration is reaching out to jewish groups to get his nomination. do you think statements related to israel are going to pose a problem for him? >> i don't know. i think it will cause some problems yes. it will probably lose him some votes, but i have been under the spotlight a lot less in my life than you have or senator hage
, the pentagon is a huge organization. check. hagel cofounded a company called van guard cellular systems which made him a multimillionaire. and knowing how to get things done in washington. check on that. hagel served two terms as a u.s. senator from nebraska and served as deputy administrator of the veterans administration. plus he's a republican nominated by a democrat, so it sounds pretty perfect, right? today, president obama told the nation why he loved chuck hagel. >> in the senate, i came to admire his courage and his judgment, his willingness to speak his mind, even if it wasn't popular. even if it defied the conventional wisdom. >> his willingness to speak his mind, no, is part of what's getting him in trouble with members of both parties. david frum is with us and also with us doug wilson, form pentagon senior spokesman for president obama. he has been criticized for using the term jewish lobby. he used it in a 2006 interview and here is what he said, quote, the political reality is that the jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here. i have always argued against the dumb thing
knows the hill. he's a soldier. he's been in combat and knows the pentagon. he's the right guy to do the job. >> john, tony brought up that he's a soldier. there's an argument of a civilian at the top of defense because perhaps keeps us going to war less easily or often. what do you think about having a soldier who's been there and done that at the top of the defense? >> i this is the best nomination the president's made in both of the taerms. he is controversial and stands for something. you know, chuck hagel's someone who i have known since 2007 when we were arguing against a troop increase in iraq and i can tell you on a personal level especially reading his book he cares what happens to the soldier or the marine on the ground embedded in combat and i think in afghanistan with green on blue killings, a question of projection of force and embedded with afghan troops, this is someone to say is this worth the sacrifice and there was a large debate in washington, d.c. prior to the increase of troops in afghanistan and hagel quietly was on the side that was against the president's plan
, is this budget battle. not necessarily here in the pentagon because, again, when the orders come down to cut this, cut that, cut this, the u.s. military has to oblige. they have to get it done. the biggest problem and this is where perhaps chuck hagel, you know, in terms of the kind of difficulties he's having now on capitol hill, may run in to some difficulty, is convincing members of congress up there on capitol hill who, in fact, take on their pet pork barrel projects, even though the pentagon has said we don't want those programs. we don't want those airplanes. congress, instead, votes -- goes ahead and votes for it because it means money and votes back home for many members of congress. so i think that ultimately will be the biggest challenge for secretary of defense chuck hagel if, in fact, he is confirmed, tamron. >> you took issue with what first read pointed out, which is the politics which is what i was starting out the conversation with you regarding, the politics of this, when you have general mcchrystal and we'll play him later today on the "today" show this morning talking about a d
stand up to those generals in the pentagon. of course, the president did not serve in the military. and then with all these bruising battles in terms of the fiscal issues, the economy going forward, who better to sort of represent the white house when they try to downsize the pentagon in some form than perhaps a republican senator? thomas. >> nbc's peter alexander live at the white house for us. peter, thanks so much. >>> in talking more about the background of senator chuck hagel and whether or not he's going to be able to make it through the confirmation hearings, there have been certain people on all sides talking about his past. and there are lgbt rights groups who are not so fast to back off their criticism of senator chuck hagel. the group log cabin republicans recently took out a full page ad or ads, that is, the latest one appearing in today's "washington post." the other first appears "new york times" in the saying hagel is wrong on lgbt rights, israel and iran. gregory angelo is the interim executive director of the log cabin republicans and joining me here in studio. gre
are supportive of israel. i don't know what his management experience is regarding the pentagon, little, if any. so i think it's an incredibly controversial choice, and it looks like the second term of barack obama is going to be an in your face term. >> reporter: and we should also note that mitch mcconnell, the senate minority leader, the top republican here in the senate, made some softer comments on the other sunday talk shows. he was saying that chuck hagel will get some thorough vetting, will get tough kwequestions, bue was not talking about it in the same stark terms as senator graham. president obama is making this nomination with congress out of town, so there's also time for this nomination to melt away. we'll have to see. >>> i want to take a closer look now at the anti-israel claims against hagel through the eyes of a seasoned diplomat. nicholas burns is a former undersecretary of state. he joins us by phone. good morning, mr. ambassador. >> good morning. >> before we speak, i want to tell people exactly what hagel said that -- those comments that are haunting him today. in one stat
at the congressional budget office. fantastic career in national security. as noted, comptroller of the pentagon today. one of the top officials, the key adviser to the secretary of defense on all matters financial. not only in terms of building budgets but executing them and trying to figure out how to save money and execute efficiencies and reforms within the defense budget. bob has a long career in national security. he was a navy officer at the beginning of his career he worked at the center for naval analyses, work for the logistics management institute early in his career and again later. he was my boss at the congressional budget office during the period, well, for a number of years, but including during the period when the berlin wall had just come down and rebuild a post-cold war military. working with people like senator sam nunn and aspen as most people on both sides of the aisle. bob was the comptroller of the air force during the clinton administration and has also been the executive director of the american society of military comptrollers. and so without further ado, please join me in w
the lead at the pentagon from leon pennetta, who offered some parting thoughts during the announcement. take a listen. >> the time has come for me to return to my wife, sylvia, our three sons, their families, our six grandchildren and my walnut farm. dealing with a different set of nuts. [ laughter ] >> i guess when you're out-going, mark halperin, you can do that. >> look, he's a funny guy and he survived in washington in public service for 50 years in the military in executive branch and congress being not just serious and smart and dedicated but a really funny and nice guy. incredible story. i was glad to see amist thedst announcement of the new nominees he got his ceremony and i'm sure there will be more in the next couple of weeks. >> a vietnam soldier and veteran has been nominated as the next secretary of defense and the president emphasized hagel's government service and personal connection to the organization he's now been nominated to run. >> chuck represents the bipartisan tradition we need more of in washington. for his independence and commitment to consensus, he's earned
setled on chuck hagel to lead the pentagon. it comes despite many indications that he would face rocky confirmation hearing. he has a history of blunted statements including a reference to, quote. jewish lobby as an intimidating force on capitol hill that would draw scrutiny. once more he has at times resisted sanctions against iran for its nuclear program and balked efforts to designate hezbollah as a terrorist group. >> i have serious reservations on some of his statements in the past. >> reporter: supporters say his infantry service where he was awarded two purple hearts make it superbly qualified. a group wrote to obama to throw his support behind hagel that enjoys the backing that one opinion that matters most. >> he is patriot and he has done extraordinary work. somebody that has served this country with valor in vietnam. somebody who is currently serving on my intelligence advisory board. >> reporter: the white house said no decision has been made on the top pentagon spotted. >> jamie: what kind of confirmation are we in for if the president does nominate him? assistant to vice
's pick to run the pentagon. jennifer griffin on the first enlisted soldier to be so hoorpd katherine heritage tells us john brennan's road may be a little bumpy. let's begin with wendall goler. >> good evening. president obama is nominating the former republican senator to be secretary of defense and 25-year veteran of the c.i.a. to head the agency. >> these two leaders have dedicated their lives to protect the country. i urge the senate to confirm them as soon as possible. >> but hagel's selection grew more criticism and the choice of john brennan threatened to raise questions about water boarding that he didn't want to answer when he was considered four years ago. had a ha ge8, obama said would be an outspoken advocate for severs men and women. and his business experience will help him prioritize pentagon spending cuts that everyone knows is coming. >> even though we make tough fiscal choices we have to do so wisely guided by a our stlaj and keep the military the strongest fighting force. >> reporter: but it drew immediate fire. it was a 14-year-old comment about a diplomat being a
lawmakers on both sides of the aisles are already attacking the president's choice to head the pentagon. abc's david kerley reports from the white house. >> reporter: as the president returned from hawaii, senior officials tell abc news he will nominate former republican senator chuck hagel as the next secretary of defense. >> chuck hagel is out of the mainstream thinking i believe on most issues regarding foreign policy. >> reporter: republicans raised red flags continuing a campaign against hagel. >> chuck hagel is not a responsible option. >> reporter: democrats too have been cold to hagel, a social conservative. republicans complain about his stand on afghanistan, that we, quote, went well beyond our mission. and his opposition to the surge in iraq. saying it -- >> represents the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since vietnam if it is carried out. >> reporter: but a comment about israel and what he called the jewish lobby which intimidates capitol hill that angered many. >> this is an in-your-face nomination by the president to all of us who are supportive of israel.
to run the pentagon. calling him a leader our troops deserve. hagel's critics call him profoundly wrong on national security. also, we have new details about a horrifying night in colorado. a police officer cries as he describes a theater floor slippery with blood. >>> plus, a first look at proposed regulations that have would-be gun owners racing right now to buy guns. >>> i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com >>> we begin with president obama setting the stage for a new fight here in washington. this time, other the national security team for his second term. the president's nominating the former senator chuck hagel, a republican, for defense secretary, and his counterterrorism adviser john brennan to direct the cia. at least one critic calls the hagel nomination an "in your face" pick. let's bring in our white house correspondent brianna keilar. she's working the story for us. the president was effusive in his praise for hagel. >> president obama said hagel, a republican, quote, represents a bipartisan tradition that we need more of i
will not be able to be fulfilled and meet those obligations . >> a recent pentagon report shows that one of afghan army 23 brigades was able to operate without military support from the u.s. or nato. you expect it to improve by 2014? >> i think the whole engagement is catastrophic and you look at the harvest of what we have done and look at sacrifices of the last 12 years now we had in afghanistan. we don't have much to show for it. we have a karzai as president . dysfunctional units that made habits . the afghan sold yirs were killing our own people and hundreds of billions later, the the fatalities and casuallies. it is it a good wor. but there is nothing good about the war. the chaos will claim afghanistan and the taliban will claim afghanistan and our work will have been for naught. >> that is it a sobering picture that you paint there. thank you for your insight. i appreciate it >> you, too. >> and rebel sitings are pressing ahead with fencive. there is a car boiming in damascus . in is follows a deadly crash. it is saying they were set off by rebels. battles in suburbs on the way to the airp
republicans reeling. tracie potts is live in washington this morning with more on how his pentagon and cia nominations could prompt the next big fight on capitol hill. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, we could hear more about that here today. chuck hagel bringing up concerns from democrats and republicans. and as for john brennan, we're seeing the aclu and others speak out about that nomination. protests outside the white house questioning whether john brennan spoke out loudly enough against controversial interrogation tactics. that's why brennan dropped out last time he was considered to head the cia. this time, he's courting both sides. >> although i consider myself neither a republican nor a democrat, i very much look forward to working closely with those on both sides of the aisle. >> reporter: but brennan's confirmation may not be as tough as chuck hagel's for secretary of defense. >> mr. president, i'll always give you my honest and most informed counsel. >> reporter: he backed some cuts at the pentagon, an issue congress will deal with next month. >> as a successful business
would hit. that would affect the pentagon and the pentagon size, the consequences were much more unfavorable for the g.o.p. than for democrats, which is why republicans had very little leverage to win this moring a, i think it remarkable they got out of it in as good shape as they did. lou: i would never disturb a positive outlook. i have to say, i think somehow, when we end up withs there are your trillion added to national debt, and we have round two coming at us with the president and speaker saying in a will never negotiate over a debt ceiling again, you have to wonder who the future holds. >> the problem is, the republicans control the house of representative the. the democrats control the senate. democrats control the white house. and democrats are on opposed to all of the things that republicans want to do. lower taxes, and by and large, reduce spending and reform entitlements, reform the tax code in a way that revenue neutral, they don't want to do those, they and they have two-thirds of of the three-legged stool in their control that limits what republicans can hope to d
on spending, taxes, immigration, foreign policy all loom in the weeks and months ahead. former pentagon official, former reagan political director joining yes. pulitzer prize-winning journalist among our guests tonight. joining us to assess what could be a contentious road ahead for the president's national-security nominees to my katie mcfarland has held national security posts under three presidents and a fox these national security analyst and a pulitzer prize-winning journalist judith miller. let's begin with you. the nomination here of brennan and, of course, of hegel catching some, well, this -- by surprise despite the fact that their names have been proffered for some time. >> the jewish community, representatives have let the president know they do not like this appointment. there is to not to do it, but now what is done. many of them starting to fall in line saying, it is done. some will continue to oppose, but at this point you have to assume that senator hegel stands a good chance of being confirmed lou: : first to brennan, he has been purged of whatever his sins were under t
and selflessness. i'll always do my best. i doll my best for our country for those i represent at the pentagon and for all our citizens. and, mr. president, i'll always give you my honest and most informed counsel. >>> so with the main controversy swirling around hagel and his record on issues like iran and israel, he chose unusually to defend himself in an interview with his hometown newspaper the lincoln star journal. he told the paper "the distortions about my record have been astounding." he added, "there's not one shred of evidence that i'm anti-israel." >> john brennan spent 25 years in the cia before he became the president's chief counter-terrorism adviser working inside the white house. the president considered brennan for the same job after he first got elected in 2008. brennan withdrew his name from consideration after he got associated with the enhanced interrogation techniques that had been used during the bush administration. charges brennan denied. over the past several years, brennan has been instrumental in expanding the administration's use of drone strikes fwens terror targe
, for those are represented at the pentagon, and for all our citizens. >> if confirmed as director, i will make my mission to ensure the cia has the tools it needs to keep our nation safe and that its work always reflects the liberties, the freedoms, and the values that we hold so dear. >> senator hagel has faced criticism from rightwing foes over his positions on israel and dealing with iran, as well as from progressive critics for making day -- denigrating comments in 1998 about gays in government, for which only recently apologized. some democrats have joined republicans in opposing him over his refusal to back unconditional support for israeli government policies. on monday, the ranking democrat at the house foreign affairs committee, eliot engel of new york, said he believes chuck hagel has a tictac endemic hostility toward israel." brennan was a rumored pick for the job when obama was first elected in 2008, but was forced to withdraw from consideration amidst protests over his role at the cia under the bush administration. brennan has publicly supported the cia's policies of so-
that makes me chuckle that the comment that the pentagon is bloated in its spending. >> right. lori: as he approaches sequestration, meant to be punitive defense spending cuts how is all that going to sort out? >> i think it is one of the questions the republicans in particular have, the question whether or not this is the time to bring that kind of history of criticism of the pentagon and spending, particularly when facing automatic spending cuts that will comprise, even though it is only 1/20th of the spending of the federal government it will comprise 50% of the cuts that is inconvenient. that could be a problem but the president, to his credit, is pushing forward and i say his credit, not supporting or, you know, or criticizing hagel's nomination but i think it is important for any president to stand up to move forward what he thinks is the nomination of the appropriate person to serve as head of one of these departments. melissa: you say the criticism rings hollow. do you think it will not stick? it is only here at the on set and will beers oweser than it looks? >> for example, the th
hagel has not, so far, been nominated for the top pentagon job, but attacks like this tv ad began shortly after news accounts named hagel the frontrunner. they focus mostly on whether he's sufficiently pro-israel. >> there is an incredible level of concern about the kind of secretary of defense he would be, based on his foreign policy views and his foreign policy record, and the things he's said over the past dozen years of his political career. >> suarez: noah pollak is executive director of the emergency committee for israel, which produced the tv ad. under federal law, the committee does not have to disclose the sources of its funding, but it's one of several pro-israel groups opposing hagel. >> you take an issue like iran, which is probably the most important national security threat and problem we will have to deal with in the coming few years. and chuck hagel has come out and said that he's against... he thinks military strikes are not a viable military option. he's even come out against sanctions. and you have to wonder what kind of advice would he give to the president. >>
to figure out a way to cut the pentagon budget, something he has been very clear has been bloated. this is something that don rumsfeld tried and failed to do. it's something that bob gates tried and failed to do in any serious way. and now, given the budget pressures, this is going to be the moment for performance. >> rose: a couple of points, i guess. rumsfeld would argue that we had a big war came along and bob gates would argue that in the end he did cut it somewhat. >> somewhat. but if you look at the total national security budget, charlie, which would be not just the pentagon but also the intelligence agencies, homeland security, it's basically doubled since the 9/11 attacks. >> rose: and weapons systems you don't really need in the judgment of many people other than those people who represent the districts where they're located. >> leftovers from the cold war and, remember, the president himself came in supported by chuck hagel on this point with the thought that there was a moment here to really build down on the nuclear force. and so far they have not been able to do that
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